While eating healthy is important all the time, pregnancy is especially a time during which a woman should be extra cautious. During these nine months, you are eating literally for two people. Dt. Nisha, Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian, Motherhood Hospital, Gurugram, shares, “When you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, it is very important to treat your health seriously and plan your diet properly. A nutritious diet is essential for keeping your unborn child healthy right from conception.”
As soon as you find out you’re pregnant, it’s normal to start reviewing your eating habits. “Like many other people, you might be tempted to consult your mother or friends, the internet, or your past pregnancy practices for guidance. You might be surprised to learn that every pregnancy is unique. The body may react differently to physical or hormonal changes that may impact pregnancy depending on your age or surroundings,” the dietitian says.
Common Foods To Include During Pregnancy
Dt. Nisha lists the following fruits and veggies that expecting moms should have throughout the nine months:
Fruits and Vegetables
Apart from these, there are specific foods that people should focus on during each trimester. Dt Nisha lists the following:
– Foods high in folate should ideally be consumed throughout the first trimester. The neural development of the fetus and the avoidance of any neurological birth abnormalities depend on folic acid.
– Numerous leafy greens, eggs, almonds, broccoli, citrus fruits, legumes, and other foods contain folate.
– It’s crucial that pregnant women continue to take the folic acid pills that their doctor has prescribed. Other minerals, such as Vitamin B6 and Iron, are also essential during this time in addition to folic acid.
“Due to nausea and morning sickness, the first trimester is challenging for the majority of pregnant women. It could be challenging to eat healthfully as a result. However, throughout the second trimester, these symptoms begin to subside, making it simpler to continue eating a balanced diet. During this semester, iron is still a crucial vitamin. Lean meat, prepared seafood, leafy green vegetables, nuts, fortified cereals, etc. are good sources of iron,” Dt Nisha says. She adds that since the child’s skeletal system starts to develop during this semester, calcium intake needs to be increased. “Along with nuts, dairy items like cheese, milk, and yoghurt make excellent calcium sources. Omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, and vitamin D are other essential nutrients that can be found in fatty fish, nuts, bananas, and yoghurt,” the dietitian adds.
Dt Nisha suggests the following:
– Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine), and fibre are crucial additions to your diet starting at week 28 of pregnancy in addition to all the nutrients stated above.
– Good sources of vitamin K include spinach, chicken, broccoli, prunes, green beans, avocado, and cooked kale. For blood to clot, vitamin K is necessary. To prevent any difficulties, this is especially important after delivery.
– Fruits rich in vitamin C and fibre include kiwis, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes, papaya, and melons.
– In terms of thiamine, sweet potatoes are a good supply.
“Doctors suggest supplements to be taken before conception, during pregnancy and post-partum recovery. Pregnant women need additional water- and fat-soluble vitamins. This comprises, among other things, folate, choline, and the vitamins B12, A, and D,” shares Dt Nisha.
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Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
While every body is different, expecting women should avoid some foods, says Dt Nisha. Read on:
Certain seafood: Avoid eating shark, swordfish, and marlin altogether, or at least consume them in moderation as they have high levels of mercury. Uncooked shellfish should never be consumed because of the possibility of bacterial or virus contamination, which can result in food poisoning.
Half-cooked meat or partially cooked meat and seafood
Soft cheese and unpasteurised dairy